Saturday, November 8, 2008
Sinatra's Bombay........today's Mumbai
This past week was busy again as usual. On Tuesday I flew to Bombay to meet a well know developer that builds entire communities..including hotels..it was just a day trip.....left at 6:00am returned at 10:00pm.
Wednesday, it was a trip to Karnal, a city about 100 miles north of Delhi, to see another hotel project under construction and to meet with the owner for a potential management contract. Along the way it was rice field after rice field.....and trucks packed with sacks of rice. This is the area where BASMATI rice is grown.....and lots of it.
Then it was back to Bombay/Mumbai on Thursday for a meeting to wrap up some "loose ends" with the architects that designed the Vizag property.
I have been to Bombay/Mumbai at least 5 times since being in India, and once on my visit in August......and each time was to visit the developer I mentioned at the start of the blog......I never had been to "old Bombay". I have only been surrounded by skyscrapers and High Rise Apartment Buildings.....brand new developments as land is scarce....the only place to build is up!
This visit changed that......as the architects office was in the "old" section of town.
It reminded me so much of New Orleans.....the architecture, the smells, the horse drawn carriage's, the weather, it is surrounded by water and there is no more land to develop on.....it was amazing.
India is such an incredible country, and each city that I visited thus far has been different. I was so amazed at the similarities to New Orleans that I called Linda on the phone to tell her about it. This will definitely be a city we visit with Parker when he joins us this coming summer.
This is just a small sampling of pictures.....the old....the new.....and one of these incredible horse drawn carriage's that are gilded in silver. I took most of these while driving, as we did not have a chance to stop.....it is always...go go go! There is so much more that I wanted to capture.....but I have a good excuse to go back and play tourist.
One last INCREDIBLE thing about Bombay.....traffic....like nothing I have ever experienced...anywhere!
At the conclusion of our meeting on Thursday, Amit and I left the architect's office at 5:00pm for the hotel we were staying at.....a distance of about 26 miles.....it took us 3 HOURS to drive 26 miles.
Unlike Delhi, Bombay/Mumbai,there are no subways....they have trains, but not enough of them.....the roads are very narrow in most of the city, as land is scarce......There is virtually no such thing as a FREEWAY or INTERSTATE system like a major city would have. No "loops" or bypass....and we were in a car smaller than the smallest car in the US......just think of something small in the US and shrink it.....to give you an idea.....My rolling garment bag could not fit in the trunk, it had to ride in the front passenger seat...it was too large for the trunk...my rolling computer bag and Amit's small suit case barely fit in the trunk. Three hours in a "matchbox" on wheels, but I was reminded that it was better than walking!